Every year on the first day of spring I host an Ostara celebration to welcome this long-awaited season of Spring.
Maybe I am so eager to welcome spring because I live in New England, where it sometimes feels like the winter season will NEVER end. This year in particular felt this way. Maybe because I haven’t socialized or even spent time with family, let alone friends, in order to keep myself and loved ones safe….It has been a looooong winter.
So, the first day of spring is quite the reason to celebrate!!! We can finally get outdoors again (comfortably). We can plant gardens…thank goodness, and take walks, and do yard work, and get fresh air. What could be better? Not much, if you ask me.
So maybe now you’re wondering…what IS Ostara and why should I celebrate?
What is Ostara?
Ostara is another word for the first day of Spring. It’s also commonly referred to as the vernal or spring equinox.
Ostara is a day of perfect balance when the sun can be seen directly above the earth’s equator. It is the time when light and dark are completely equal, before the scales are tipped in light’s favor.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, our daylight hours will continue to lengthen until the summer solstice in June. I simply swoon at the idea of longer, sunnier days where I can do more gardening or spend more time outdoors… don’t you?
What Ostara Means
Ostara takes its name from the Germanic goddess of spring, Eostre/Ostara. She was traditionally honored and celebrated during the month of April with feasts and celebrations similar to today’s Easter celebrations. These celebrations focused on fertility, new beginnings and rebirth… all the things associated with springtime.
What Are The Symbols of Ostara?
Colors: Green, pink, blue
Foods: Eggs, honey, sprouted greens, baked goods, asparagus
Stones: Aquamarine, amethyst, rose quartz
Symbols: Rabbits, eggs, spring flowers, lambs, clover, baskets
Flowers & Plants: clover, daffodils, crocus, tulips & snowdrops
Incense: Violet, honeysuckle, narcissus, and lemon
Herbs: meadowsweet, cleavers, clover, lemongrass, spearmint, and catnip.
Deities: Isis, Estotre, Adonis
Make This Ostara Celebration Centerpiece
Why You Should Plan An Ostara Celebration
I used to feel disconnected from my life and out of alignment like I couldn’t quite get a handle on things. I felt seriously untethered like I was being thrown adrift by life’s storms.
That was before I embraced a life of seasonal celebrations, closer to nature and full of ancestral lifeways wisdom and plant magic. I have found that when you are out of alignment with seasonal energy, it impacts how you feel – physically & emotionally. It affects hows you show up & impacts every part of your life.
It’s true that our ancestors were more connected to the Sun than we are today. They observed its pathway across the sky; they tracked how the sunrise, sunset, and day length changed, using the Sun (and Moon) as a clock and calendar.
Now, I don’t propose becoming that intuned to our natural world, but we can connect on a deeper level than we now do.
The act of planning and preparing an Ostara celebration can help you feel rooted & empowered in your life, by giving you a deep understanding of seasonal energy.
What Ostara Foods Should Be Included?
Typical Ostara celebration foods include eggs, honey, sprouted greens, baked goods, and asparagus.
I’ve gotten creative with our Ostara celebration foods and like to experiment with using colors, flavors, and herbs.
Below is a tri-colored cauliflower dish I often serve because it’s flavored with lemon and herbs and it looks so springy. It’s so simple and delicious!
I also like to make Lavender and Lemon Shortbread, deviled eggs, herbed focaccia, quiche or egg frittata with asparagus, etc… I love to cook so this is fun for me, but I recognize that not everyone is a cook.
You can plan a great Ostara celebration easily with store-bought or easily prepared foods. The important thing is to remain mindful of why you’re preparing Ostara foods in the first place. It’s to reconnect with nature and our place in the natural world, something we seem to have lost in this modern age.
Lemon & Herb Cauliflower
- Lemon zester
- Chef's knife
- Large baking sheet
- Large bowl
- 3 heads cauliflower 1 purple, 1 orange, and 1 white, if available
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp chopped basil
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wash and trim cauliflower, chopping the florets into small equally-sized pieces.
- Add cauliflower to a large bowl with olive oil, parsley, basil, and thyme. Toss to combine, making sure the florets are coated evenly with the oil and herbs.
- Spread the mixture onto a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper in an even layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Squeeze lemon juice over the vegetables.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking.
- Once the cauliflower has browned and is cooked through, remove from the oven. Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley.
Other Ways to Celebrate Ostara
The vernal equinox signals new beginnings and nature’s renewal, so look around! Observe! What are the signs of spring in your region? Please share in the comments below!
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